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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Renewing the photo on your driving licence

In most circumstances, you’ll need to renew the photo on your driving licence before it expires, as the photo’s only valid for 10 years. If you’re a short period licence holder (over 70 or medical short period) you’ll only need to renew your photo when your driving entitlement expires.

Apply online

You can apply to renew the photo on your driving licence using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) secure and easy to use online service.

Applying at a Post Office® branch with a renewal reminder D798

You can apply to renew the photo on your driving licence at a selected Post Office®. If you have received a D798 renewal reminder form, you will be notified of the closest Post Office® branches to your address. For other participating Post Office® branches visit the Post Office® website or telephone the Post Office® Helpline on 0845 722 3344.

You will need:

  • The photo renewal form D798
  • Both the photocard and counterpart of your licence if you have them
  • The fee of £20.00

There will be a fee of £4.50 in addition to the renewal fee for using the Post Office® service.

The Post Office® will capture your photo, signature and details from your application form and will electronically and securely send it to DVLA to issue a new licence. Your driving licence should arrive within three weeks. It might take longer if DVLA have to check your medical or personal details.

Applying at a Post Office® branch without a renewal reminder

If, for any reason, you don’t receive your renewal reminder you may still be able to renew your photo at selected Post Offices®. You will need to have both the photocard and counterpart of your current licence. Alternatively, if you do not wish to apply online or at a selected Post Office®, you will need to complete the ‘application for a driving licence’ (D1) form. This is available from the DVLA form ordering service, and Post Office® branches. You can check the expiry date of your photo in section 4b on the front of your driving licence.

For short term licences and over 70s, you will be prompted by DVLA to renew your photograph and your entitlement to drive – see section 4b on your licence for the expiry date of your entitlement.

Applying by post

You’ll need to:

  • fill in the photo renewal form D798
  • include a new passport type photo of yourself which must be recent and a true likeness - you don’t need the back of the photo signed
  • return both the photocard and counterpart of your licence – if you have lost one or both parts you can still use this application but will need to tick the relevant box in section one of the D798
  • enclose a cheque or postal order for £20.00 – no fee is needed if you have medical short period licence or you’re aged 70 or over
  • send your application and fee (if applicable) to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1DH

If you have changed your name, you’ll also need to provide identity documents as proof.

When and what to expect with your new licence

DVLA aims to send your new driving licence to you within three weeks of getting your application. It'll take longer if your health or personal details need to be checked. Allow at least three weeks for your driving licence to get to you before contacting DVLA.

When your licence is issued it'll have a number of added security features. One of the main differences is a laser engraved black and white photo.

The new photo will be valid for ten years from the date your application is processed and not from the expiry date of your current photo on your licence.

Driving before your licence is returned

You can drive before you get your licence as long as you:

  • have held a Great Britain or Northern Ireland licence issued since 1 January 2024 or another exchangeable licence
  • are not disqualified from driving
  • haven't been refused a licence for medical reasons or for failing to comply with medical enquiries
  • wouldn't be refused a licence for medical reasons - if in doubt, check with your doctor
  • keep to any special conditions that apply to your licence

Other types of DVLA reminders

DVLA will also let you know if your photo is due to be renewed when it sends you a reminder to renew your entitlement to drive. A reminder will be sent when you are due to:

  • renew after disqualification
  • renew at age 70 or over
  • renew your lorry or bus entitlement
  • renew for medical reasons

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